Koscielny returns to Arsenal training ahead of schedule

Koscielny returns to Arsenal training ahead of schedule

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first_imgArsenal captain Laurent Koscielny could return to first-team action sooner than first expected after head coach Unai Emery commented on his “very good progress” in training.The France international has not played competitive football since he ruptured his Achilles tendon in the 12th minute of Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid in May, but Emery confirmed he is back in action at the club’s training centre.The Gunners have made a poor start to the season in Koscielny’s absence, conceding five goals in their first two Premier League matches of the season, both of which ended in defeat. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Emery paired Sokratis Papastathopoulos with Shkodran Mustafi in the centre of defence as Arsenal were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City and 3-2 by Chelsea, but the Spaniard did not rule out a return for Koscielny when his side entertain West Ham on Saturday.When asked about Koscielny’s progress, Emery told reporters: “He’s working very hard. He came back to us last Sunday.”We are happy to have him here with us, because he’s our captain and he’s showing us his spirit to stay with us. We need to be patient with him because the injury was an important injury.”Pressed on Koscielny’s likely availability, Emery replied: “It’s difficult to know. You look at this morning, he’s running, he’s working on the pitch.”The progress is very good progress.”With a win against Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers imperative for Arsenal after successive defeats, Emery was asked whether he is tempted to alter his formation to incorporate an extra striker.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has played as a lone frontman in both of Arsenal’s opening league games but Emery said he and his players are not averse to a change in formation if required.”At the moment, I think we need to have the control with the possession, with the positioning on the pitch, with more players inside,” added Emery.”But it is one possibility to continue our progress and in one moment to try also to play with two scorers. In the last match of the pre-season, against Lazio, I did it with [Alexandre] Lacazette and [Eddie] Nketiah.”But also, this position also for the players, they know that in one moment we can do that. But at the moment, no.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Del Piero: Serie A complicated for Ronaldo

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first_imgRonaldo has found the perfect tutor to remind him how to score – Cristiano Jr! pic.twitter.com/nqGcWCUc0q— Goal (@goal) September 3, 2018 “Juve can be very happy: they have won all the games without Ronaldo’s goals or those of Dybala.”Indeed, Juve sit atop Serie A, and are the only Italian team to have maximum points from their opening three games of the season.Mario Mandzukic is currently Juve’s top scorer with two strikes, scoring in the 2-1 win over Parma and the 2-0 win over Lazio.While Ronaldo and Dybala have struggled, midfielders have been weighing in with their fair share of strikes, too, with Blaise Matuidi, Sami Khedira and Federico Bernardeschi all on the scoresheet.Juve next face Sassuolo after the international break, and they will then kick off their Champions League campaign against Valencia. Of course, Ronaldo has a reunion with old club Manchester United to look forward to, their first meeting scheduled for October 23. Young Boys are their other opponents. Cristiano Ronaldo must learn how to adapt to Serie A, according to iconic Italian striker Alessandro Del Piero.The Portugal international moved to Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer in a huge €100 million (£90m/$116m) deal.But he has yet to score for his new employers, going three games without a goal. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Ronaldo’s brilliant scoring record at Real has obviously left many wondering why the 33 year old is struggling to find the net – he scored 450 goals in 438 games for Los Blancos.Del Piero, though, believes that he merely needs to adjust to his new surroundings, the World Cup winner having netted over 200 times for Juve.”In Italy we defend looking for the numerical superiority and it is complicated for a striker, Cristiano must know his new championship,” he told Sky Italia, via AS.last_img read more

Dont show discussions that show J-K youth in bad light: CM

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first_imgSrinagar, May 8 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today asked the national media to desist from portraying all Kashmiri youth as stone-pelters and not to show discussions that develop hatred against the people of the state.She said Kashmir has seen far more worse days since 1947 and expressed hope that peace will return to the troubled valley where protests have been going on intermittently over the past nearly two months.”All of us are concerned about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. But we should know that this has not happened for the first time.Since 1947, there have been many occasions when J-K has gone through bad times.Today we are again at crossroads,” Mehbooba told reporters at a brief interaction at the opening of the Civil Secretariat here.The Civil secretariat functions here for six months of summer and in Jammu for six months in winter as part of a more than century-old practice called Darbar Move started by the then Maharaja.Referring to the Plebiscite movement launched in Kashmir in the 1950s, Mehbooba said it carried on for 22 years but the leadership understood that this issue cannot be resolved through violence.”The Indira-Sheikh accord happened, then the situation turned grim again since 1990. Sometimes militancy increased and sometimes it decreased,” she said expressing hope that things will improve again.The chief minister said all youth from the valley are not stone-pelters.”I request the national media, the electronic media, not to show such discussion on television that develop hatred against the people of J-K throughout the country.There are some who pelt stones, but not all the youth from Kashmir pelt stones,” she said.advertisementThe chief minister said Jammu and Kashmir is the crown of India and people of the state have a right over every inch of the nation.”It (J-K) is the soul of this country. When there is J-K, there is India. The people of J-K not only have right over J-K, but on each part of the country and they should assert it,” she said.On the ongoing protests by students in the valley, Mehbooba said they are angry and disillusioned.”Today, our children and our youth, whatever way they are on, are angry and disillusioned. Some are being provoked. I think we all should work together to resolve this situation,” she said. Mehbooba noted that the youth of the state are excelling in national level examinations and sports arena.”They have so much potential that they can prove themselves anywhere in the country. The situation today is serious, (we are) concerned, but I do not think it is something which cannot be resolved.I have seen enough in my life,” she added.Earlier, Mehbooba took a ceremonial salute at the opening of the Civil Secretariat and was given a guard of honour by the contingent of Jammu and Kashmir Police. PTI MIJ DVlast_img read more

Veterans Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh in MS Dhoni-led Ricky Ponting’s all-time IPL XI

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first_imgFormer Mumbai Indians coach Ricky Ponting on Saturday named ex-India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the captain of his all-time Indian Premier League (IPL) XI which also includes the likes of veterans Ashish Nehra and Harbhajan Singh.Ponting, who guided Mumbai Indians to the title in the 2015 season as coach, has Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner as the lone Australian in the team.The opening slot in Ponting’s team is occupied by West Indian Chris Gayle, who has over the years produced several destructive knocks in the cash rich league. Giving him company is Warner, who finished the 2016 season as the second highest run-getter in the league and also captained Hyderabad to their maiden title.”I’ve gone for two extremely dynamic opening batsmen and I wouldn’t like to be an opening bowler bowling to these two together. Chris Gayle’s record speaks for itself; he averages about 42, strikes at over 150 and his longevity in the game is unbelievable,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.co.au.”Dave Warner’s (IPL) average is about 40 so his consistency is really good, and he’s striking at 141. (He and Gayle are) both left -handers, so it’d be interesting trying to bowl to those two up front whether you’re a spinner or a quick,” he added.The number three slot is occupied by RCB captain Virat Kohli, who emerged the highest run-getter in 2016, scoring more than 900 runs in that campaign and is currently the second highest run-getter in the history of the league. At No.4 is Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma.advertisement”I had the luxury of coaching Rohit at Mumbai for a couple of seasons. Whether it be fast bowling or spin, he plays them all well. And he’s a deceptively big hitter as well for someone who’s not of huge stature, and that’s what you want in the middle order in your T20 team,” he said.At number five Ponting has placed IPL’s highest run-getter ever, Suresh Raina followed by his wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni at No.6.”M.S. Dhoni is at No.6 and he’ll also be the captain of my side. He brings huge experience and whenever he’s at the crease… you’re always a chance of winning the game,” Ponting said.At number seven, Ponting has chosen the West Indian all-rounder, Dwayne Bravo, who with his change of pace and lower order hitting, made it a habit to win matches for now-suspended Chennai Super Kings.The two spinners in Ponting’s team are Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh while Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga and Nehra are his frontline pace bowling options.Ricky Ponting’s all-time IPL XI: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain, WK), David Warner, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Lasith Malinga, Ashish Nehra.last_img read more

CAC has done a comprehensive job: CoA chief Vinod Rai to India Today

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first_imgThe chief of BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA), Vinod Rai was the reason Team India got its head coach on Tuesday itself. Rai had urged the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) to speak with captain Virat Kohli and appoint the coach as soon as possible and not delay the process any further.WATCH FULL VIDEOThe CAC comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman named Ravi Shastri as the successor to Anil Kumble till the 2019 World Cup and also appointed former greats Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid as bowling and batting coaches respectively, for India’s overseas assignments.Speaking to India Today on the appointments of these three great players in India’s coaching staff, Rai said that he’s happy with the job done by the CAC.”All’s well that ends well. It was very very important to finish it yesterday and not send out a wrong impression. I am glad the CAC agreed with our line of thinking,” Rai told India Today.”I congratulate Ravi Shastri, Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid. The CAC has done the most comprehensive job and I am absolutely delighted and want to thank them profusely.”I will meet Ravi on my return from Singapore and discuss with him. At the end of the day Indian cricket has benefited and as I said at the start all’s well that ends well,” he added.The CAC had interviewed five candidates on Monday – Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus, Lalchand Rajput and Shastri – before finalising on the latter.advertisementShastri was involved in a three-way race along with Virender Sehwag and Tom Moody as the advisory committee met in Mumbai to select the new coach.Zaheer has played 92 Tests and picked up 311 wickets and has 282 scalps to his name from 200 ODIs — and as captain of the Delhi Daredevils has nurtured several talented young players.Zaheer is well respected in the Indian cricket fraternuity and has played with current members MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin.On the other hand, Dravid is also coach of India’s A and U-19 teams. Known as the ‘The Wall’ fo his solid defecne, Dravid accumulated 13288 runs in 164 Tests and 10889 runs in 344 ODIs.India already have a full-time batting coach in Sanjay Bangar.last_img read more

Huawei Mate 10 will come with bezel-less display, confirms CEO Richard Yu

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first_imgHuawei is working on the successor of its last years’ Mate 9. The Huawei Mate 10, which is expected to launch soon, probably by the end of this year (around October or November) at the same time as Apple plans to announced the iPhone 8. Ahead of the launch, the handset has been subjected to several leaks, where some hints at bezel-less display while other says the phone may launch with the upcoming Android O software. These are all rumours. But, what is now confirmed that the upcoming Huawei Mate 10 will sport a “full-screen” display.Huawei CEO Richard Yu says that the company is now looking to shift to ‘full-screen’ displays. And it is to start off with the Mate 10 flagship device. The company CEO further reveals that Huawei Mate 10 will feature more advanced specifications, states a Bloomberg report.So, it is confirmed that the upcoming Huawei Mate 10 will feature a full-screen and also hints at a bezel-less display. Yu also highlighted that the Mate 10 may come with a battery which will last longer. Mate 10 is also said to come with fast charging technology. The executive further hints at a camera, which is said to capture pictures much better that Apples’ next iPhones – the iPhone 8.Also Read: Huawei starts testing Android O build on Mate 9, over 5 million units sold alreadySome rumours hint at dual cameras at the back and front for the Mate 10. The upcoming Huawei Mate 10 is rumoured to come with a smaller screen than its predecessor but could be bigger than the recent Galaxy S8 and S8+. While other rumours reveal that the Mate 9 successor may come with 5.8-inch display with fingerprint sensor placed underneath the display, 2K resolution, iris scanner, facial recognition, iris scanner, 3D sensing and also AR compatibility.advertisementAs per other specs, the Mate 10 is rumoured to be powered by HiSilcon Kirin 970 SoC developed on the 10nm process. The phone is tipped to come in two variants with — 6GB and 8GB storage capacities. While some other rumours suggest that the Mate 10 could run on the latest Android O operating system, with Huawei’s own UI on top. That’s all has been rumoured about the phone as of now.There were some reports earlier that revealed that Huawei has already started to test Android O build on Mate 9. If that’s really the case, Huawei Mate 9 will be the Huawei is probably going to be the first non-Google OEM to start testing the latest flavour of Android for its smartphones. Starting up with the newly unveiled Huawei Mate 9. With these tweaks in its EMUI interface, Huawei is planning to make its flagship – Mate 9 compatible with all the upcoming Android operating system.last_img read more

Premier League: Liverpool concede late goal, draw 3-3 at Watford

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first_imgLiverpool conceded in second-half injury time to draw 3-3 at Watford as the team’s defensive frailties flared in its first game of the Premier League season on Saturday.Scoring goals wasn’t a problem for Liverpool at Vicarage Road despite the absence of unsettled playmaker Philippe Coutinho but the visitors couldn’t keep them out either, showing lessons haven’t been learnt from last season.Reuters PhotoHaving already conceded two soft goals in the first half, Liverpool failed to deal with a near-post corner in the fourth minute of injury time. Richarlison fired in a shot from an acute angle that goalkeeper Simon Mignolet parried onto the crossbar, and Miguel Britos headed over the line from less than a meter out.It looked like Mohamed Salah was going to be the match-winner for Liverpool on his competitive debut, with the club’s record signing — for an initial 42 million euros ($46.8 million) — bundling in a close-range finish to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the 57th. Two minutes earlier, Salah earned a penalty that was dispatched by Roberto Firmino. (Premier League: Giroud header seals Arsenal win in season-opening thriller)Watford striker Stefano Okaka was unmarked when he headed in from close range from a corner in the eighth minute for the opening goal of a frenetic game.Sadio Mane ran onto Emre Can’s flick to curl home an equalizer in the 29th, only for Watford to carve open Liverpool’s back line following a throw-in inside three minutes and take the lead through Abdoulaye Doucoure.advertisementReuters PhotoGreat things are expected of Liverpool’s exciting front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane — all were on the scoresheet — but it remains to be seen if they will be complemented by Coutinho this season.The Brazil international was missing with a back injury, according to Liverpool, although he might not have been in the right frame of mind to play anyway after handing in a transfer request on Friday in light of interest in the playmaker from Barcelona.Liverpool’s American owners said Friday that the club would not accept any bids for Coutinho in this transfer window, having already rejected two offers from Barca. Coutinho requested to leave the club in an email hours later.last_img read more

French Open: Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy, Ashwini-Sikki advance

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first_imgIndian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, H.S. Prannoy and the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy entered the second round, while Parupalli Kashyap exited in the opening round of the French Open World Superseries here on Wednesday.Saina Nehwal defeated Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark 21-14, 11-21, 21-10 in 50 minutes.In the men’s singles, B. Sai Praneeth also joined Prannoy in the second round.H.S. Prannoy got past South Korean Lee Hyun II 21-15, 21-17 in 43 minutes.Praneeth overcame Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab 21-13, 21-23, 21-19 in an hour and five minutes.However, for Kashyap, it was a disappointing day after he lost to Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 23-21, 18-21, 17-21 in an hour and 14 minutes.The women’s doubles pair of Ashwini and Sikki cantered past England’s Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams 21-12, 21-12 in 24 minutes.last_img read more

Romelu Lukaku to return for Manchester United for FA Cup vs Derby County

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first_imgRomelu Lukaku may return to action sooner than expected as the Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho revealed that the Belgian’s injury is “not a problem.”Lukaku sustained a head injury in United’s goalless draw with Southampton last weekend and was stretchered off.Thereafter, the big Belgian missed United’s 2-0 Premier League win at Everton where Jesse Lingard took the centre stage once more.3️⃣ important points.2️⃣ wonder goals.1️⃣ big win!Match report: https://t.co/mqvdZBslZL pic.twitter.com/dTIj15iv0S— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 1, 2018However, Mourinho confirmed that Lukaku had no concussion or anything serious and he will quickly return to field.ALSO WATCH”Romelu is not a problem,” Mourinho told reporters after the win at Goodison Park. “Maybe Romelu can play (against Derby). It was a precaution by the doctor, it was following the rules to protect the situation.”He didn’t come today to follow the protocol but he wanted to play. We had to stop him to play because he was saying, ‘I feel amazing, I should go and play,’ but we decided not to play (him). Probably Romelu is back against Derby.”Lukaku is United’s top scorer this season, having scored 10 goals in 21 league appearance. He has not just been up on the scoresheet, Lukaku has also provided four assists.United currently sit second in the Premier League table, 12 points behind leaders Manchester City, who were held 0-0 by Crystal Palace last weekend.United have won the FA Cup 12 times but last season, they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual runners-up Chelsea.advertisement(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Sarjubala, Sonia, Sarita claim gold, RSPB claim team title

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first_imgRohtak, Jan 12 (PTI) Former world silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi (48kg), representing Manipur, claimed the gold as well as the best boxer trophy even as the Railways Sports Promotion Board emerged overall champions in the National Womens Boxing Championships here today.Sarjubala edged past Haryanas Ritu 3-2 to clinch Manipurs lone gold medal and her second successive national title.Former world and Asian champion L Sarita Devi (60kg), representing the All India Police (AIP), also picked up a gold medal after beating RSPBs Pavitra in her summit clash.The marquee clash of the day was between world silver- medallist Sonia Lather, representing RSPB, and world youth champion Shashi Chopra, turning up for Haryana, in the 57kg category.Sonia dug from her experience to outwit the younger boxer and walk away with the top honours.Meena Kumari (All India Police) took the 54kg gold after going past Manisha (Haryana).Rajesh Narwal from RSPB won the flyweight (48kg) crown defeating Monika (UP).Traditional powerhouse Haryana managed to claim just one gold medal this time, through Pooja Rani (75kg). Pooja got the better of Assams Alari Boro in her summit clash.RSPB finished with five gold and two bronze medals overall.Final Results :Light Fly (45-48KG): Rajesh Narwal (RSPB) bt Monika (Har) 3:2.Bantam (51-54KG): Meena Kumari (AIP) bt Manisha (Har) 5:0;Light Welter (60-64KG): Pwilao Basumatary (RSPB) bt Simranjit Kaur (Pun) 5:0;Welter (64-69KG): Pooja (RSPB) bt Lovlina Borgohain (Asm) 3:2;Middle (69-75KG): Pooja Rani (Har) bt Alari Boro (Asm) 5:0;Light Heavy (75-81KG): Bhagyabati Kachari (RSPB) bt Kalawanti (Har) 4:1;advertisementHeavy (82KG): Seema Poonia (RSPB) bt Kavita Chahal (AIP) 5:0;Fly (48-51KG): Sh Sarju Bala (Man) bt Ritu (Har) 3:2Feather (54-57KG): Sonia Lather (RSPB) bt Shashi Chopra (Har) 5:0;Light (57-60KG): L Sarita Devi (AIP) bt Pavitra (RSPB). PTI PM PMlast_img read more

The Ashes: Luckless England brace for uphill task in Adelaide

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first_imgIt is usually a sign of a day with few redeeming features when a coach rather than a player faces the media after play and Sunday’s appearance of England’s Trevor Bayliss was no exception.When rain forced an early end to day two of the second Ashes Test, England were 29/1 in reply to Australia’s 442/8 declared, having thrown their best at their hosts only to come off second best.Two DRS referrals that overturned what looked to the naked eye to be plumb lbw decisions off the bowling of the luckless James Anderson were symptomatic of a day where little went right for the tourists.When Alastair Cook and James Vince crashed into each other trying to take a simple catch to dismiss Shaun Marsh, who went on to make an unbeaten 126, memories of the 5-0 drubbing on the last Ashes tour Down Under started to surface.England are already 1-0 down after a 10-wicket defeat at the Gabba but a defiant Bayliss was not prepared to surrender to the gloom only two days into the first day-night Ashes Test.”There’s a good feeling in the dressing room,” he told reporters.”They’re certainly not disheartened at all. Shaun showed it’s not impossible to score runs out there. It will be up to one or our guys to go out and make a big score.”We’re here to win. We’re not here to make up the numbers. That means batting all day tomorrow and well into the fourth day.”Aussie legend Ricky Ponting full of praise for Shaun Marsh after his outstanding knock in Adelaide.#Ashes @SwisseAU pic.twitter.com/03atszm3rNadvertisement- cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) December 3, 2017The day started with Stuart Broad removing Peter Handscomb with the third delivery and for the first hour it looked like England’s bowlers had raised their game after putting Australia in and only taking four wickets on day one.Although debutant seamer Craig Overton (3/105) ultimately ended the day as England’s biggest wicket-taker, Bayliss was not prepared to countenance the idea that his spearhead of Broad and Anderson was simply no longer good enough.”Some days it goes your ways and some it doesn’t,” he said.”On that wicket the bowlers we’ve got are more than capable of taking wickets and creating chances, which I thought we did over the last day or two.”It didn’t go our way on this occasion but these are the bowlers we’ve got, there’s no point wishing or hoping someone else is going to come along with a click of the fingers.”I thought they both bowled extremely well.”Overton gets his third of the innings – Cummins out for 44.Follow: https://t.co/Fjm2MqX4Eu pic.twitter.com/60QQWPbaMi- England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 3, 2017Bayliss also defended his captain Joe Root’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss on Saturday.”He wouldn’t do anything different,” he said.”It certainly wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly but for us to win games we’ve got to take 20 wickets.”We bowled pretty well and didn’t get the rewards we thought we deserved.”last_img read more

For his people, Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy remains accessible on his cell number

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first_imgThere are not many chief ministers in the country who remain accessible to the common man over their personal cell phone. Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy is an exception. In June this year, he received calls from six different individuals who weren’t trying to contact him with usual requests -,There are not many chief ministers in the country who remain accessible to the common man over their personal cell phone. Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy is an exception. In June this year, he received calls from six different individuals who weren’t trying to contact him with usual requests – school or college admission, medical help or recommendations for jobs in the private sector. They were complaining about a young bureaucrat’s corrupt practices.Narayanasamy called the officer to his office and told him: “You are a young officer with a bright career ahead. Why are you tarnishing your reputation? Why don’t you do something so that I call you to my office to praise your work and recognise your initiatives in public?” The chief minister believes building a sense of commitment in the bureaucracy is more important than randomly punishing officers. At the same time, he has directed bureaucrats to handle public complaints with greater sensitivity. “People must have faith in the grievance redressal system,” he says.Narayanasamy’s development mechanism is based on introducing administrative reforms, streamlining the administration, giving responsibility to officers and fixing accountability. “Progress in any sector is possible only with time-bound service delivery. Once we fix this, development becomes an automated process,” says Narayanasamy, as he walks around the courtyard of the state secretariat, meeting people and noting down their problems.One way to bring transparency and speed up service delivery is the extensive use of information technology. His government has not only embraced the digital mode, it also sees IT as an investment opportunity. There is already a plan to set up an IT park in Puducherry. “As of today, all government transaction have been made digital,” says the chief minister.advertisementFor the sake of development, Narayanasamy is ready to rise above party politics. That’s the reason he takes pride in his performance in several welfare schemes launched or promoted by the BJP-ruled central government. “Puducherry is the best performing state in Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Make in India, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and National Rural Health Mission. Only in Swachh Bharat are we lagging behind because we don’t have enough sand in our state to build toilets,” he says. The Puducherry government has written to the Centre to allow it to install prefabricated toilets.While Puducherry boasts of the lowest maternal and infant mortality rates among Union territories, the chief minister believes a hands-on approach alone can make a difference in healthcare. So when there was a dengue outbreak, he and his ministerial colleagues travelled around, taking stock of the situation. “That’s why there was not a single dengue death in the state. Forty per cent of the patients in our hospitals were from Tamil Nadu,” says Narayanasamy.Not just healthcare, there is also a high tourist footfall in Puducherry from the neighbouring states. Tourism contributes nearly 25 per cent to the state’s GDP. While the state has set an annual target of 4 million tourists, officials say the four days of Durga Puja alone saw one million arrivals this year. “We were not ready for such a situation. Many people could not find accommodation and slept in vehicles. We don’t want this to happen again and are planning to create infrastructure on a war footing,” adds Narayanasamy.The state government has submitted a Rs 200 crore proposal to the Union government for spiritual and heritage tourism, including restoration of beaches. The Centre has already released Rs 98 crore. Work has started on refurbishing temples, mosques and churches and for the restoration and maintenance of French architecture. The government plans to introduce water sports on the beaches, build a Disneyland-type theme park and start a cruise service from Chennai to Puducherry.Narayanasamy believes the Smart City project will transform Puducherry into a global tourism destination by leveraging its heritage and cultural-spiritual character. The Puducherry government has set up a special purpose vehicle, ‘Puducherry Smart City Development Limited’, to implement the project at a cost ofRs 1,828 crore within three years. The Centre and Puducherry government will extend Rs 500 crore each while the French government will provide a loan of Rs 500 crore. The balance amount will be mobilised through open market borrowings.Another agreement has been signed between the Puducherry government and the French Development Agency to augment drinking water supply. While the agency would provide Rs 455 crore as loan, the balance of Rs 79 crore will be provided by the Puducherry government.To sustain tourism, law and order has been given top priority. ‘Tiger Brigade’, a patrol squad for the city and the state’s semi-urban areas, has been created. Police personnel in plain clothes man the markets and beaches. Thirty-seven notorious troublemakers and history-sheeters have been detained in 2017 as against 31 in 2016 and 43 in 2015. “We have confiscated their properties acquired through force and threat. These will either be returned to genuine owners or will be used for public purposes,” says the chief minister.advertisementWhat worries Narayanasamy, however, is the dearth of employment opportunities. “We have skilled manpower. We cannot fail them. My priority is to generate employment for them,” he says. This explains his focus on industrialisation. The shift of several non-polluting industries to the state has already been an encouraging indication for the state government, which has formulated a new industrial policy last year, giving incentives to multiple sectors.The state is already clocking a growth rate of 11 per cent, and according to Narayanasamy, the new industrial policy is poised to attract a larger number of domestic as well as foreign investors to the power-surplus state, driving the growth trajectory further northwards. The policy has identified 10 priority areas and 16 thrust areas in industry, which could ensure rapid, balanced, sustainable, eco-friendly industrial development in the state. The goal is to create an electronic manufacturing hub using technical resources. “We have 17 engineering colleges, so there is no dearth of manpower too,” says Narayanasamy.But before that dream turns true, the chief minister has one more hurdle to cross-loss-making public sector units. From its annual budget of Rs 8,000 crore, the government spends Rs 520 crore as grant to these units. “This is unproductive use of public money. I have formed a committee to suggest ways to revive these units within a short span of time,” he says. Time indeed is running out, as he gets ready to hop on to his car for a two-hour drive to Karaikal, where he has to inaugurate a CCTV installation at a public place.last_img read more

No Slam, Shaky Serena Loses

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first_imgNEW YORK — For Serena Williams’ first 26 matches at major tournaments in 2015, no deficit was too daunting, no opponent too troublesome, no victory too far from reach.She was unbeaten and, seemingly, unbeatable, nearing the first Grand Slam in more than a quarter-century. All Williams needed was two more wins to pull off that rare feat. And yet, against an unseeded and unheralded opponent in the U.S. Open semifinals, she faltered. Her pursuit of history ended, oh so close.In one of the most significant upsets in the history of tennis, Williams finally found a hole too big to climb out of, losing 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Sept. 11 at Flushing Meadows to 43rd-ranked Roberta Vinci of Italy.“I don’t want to talk about how disappointing it is for me,” Williams said at the start of a briefer-than-usual news conference. “If you have any other questions, I’m open for that.”Vinci had never before played in a Grand Slam semifinal. She had never so much as taken a set off Williams in four previous matchups.“Today is my day,” Vinci told the crowd in an on-court interview. “Sorry, guys!”She said she told herself not to think about having Williams across the net. And Vinci’s unusual style, full of slices and net rushes, kept Williams off-balance enough to cause problems and prevent the 33-year-old American from becoming the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a single season.Williams had been pushed to the limit before — this was her 12th three-setter in a major this season — but had managed to win titles at the Australian Open on hard courts in January, the French Open on clay courts in June, and Wimbledon on grass courts in July.This time, for once, the No. 1-ranked Williams could not pull it out, undone by 40 unforced errors, twice as many as Vinci. That negated the impact of Williams’ 16 aces, including one at 126 mph.“I thought she played the best tennis in her career,” Williams said about Vinci. “She played, literally, out of her mind.”On Sept. 12, Vinci will face another Italian making her Grand Slam final debut: 26th-seeded Flavia Pennetta, who eliminated No. 2 Simona Halep 6-1, 6-3 earlier on Sept. 11.Pennetta, 33, and Vinci, 32, have known each other since they were kids, having grown up in towns about 40 miles (65 kilometers) apart on opposite coasts of Puglia, a region in the southeastern heel of Italy’s boot-shaped peninsula.Now they will face each other in a stadium in New York — with a Grand Slam trophy on the line. An intriguing story line, to be sure, but nothing compared to what Williams was chasing: a perfect Grand Slam season.After all, not only was she 26-0 at those tournaments this year, but her winning streak at majors was 33 matches entering the match, because she won last year’s U.S. Open.If she had managed to win a fifth consecutive major title, Williams would have raised her total to 22, equaling Graf for the most in the Open era, which began in 1968, and second-most in history behind Margaret Court’s 24.Williams’ older sister Venus — who pushed her to three sets in the quarterfinals — was in her guest box, and rapper Drake, a pal, was in Arthur Ashe Stadium, too.While it was Vinci who earned the first break of the match, to lead 2-1 in the opening set, Williams quickly regained control from there, lacing together six games in a row. Suddenly, though, Vinci got going again, breaking to up 3-2 in the second.When Vinci served out that set, Williams headed to the sideline, cracked her racket against the ground and flung it behind her chair, drawing a code violation warning from the chair umpire.Still, Williams insisted later: “I never felt pressure. … I never felt that pressure to win here. I said that from the beginning.”As the third set wore on, Williams became more and more demonstrative, leaning forward, shaking her fists and screaming, “Come on!” after four points in a row during one stretch.It was Vinci’s turn to show emotion later, closing a spectacular 18-stroke exchange with a volley winner, then cupping her ear with a hand, before pointing to her chest and waving both arms at the spectators, encouraging them to yell for her, too.That point ended with Williams on a full sprint, stumbling a bit as her momentum carried her to the sideline, where she bent over, chest heaving.The crowd responded to it all with a standing ovation.Williams never was able to get back in front. And there certainly were noticeable dips in her play. She let a 2-0 lead in the third set slip away, in part by double-faulting on break point to make it 2-1. Williams double-faulted again a few games later, when Vinci broke for 4-3, a lead she did not relinquish.“I mean, I made a couple of tight shots, to be honest,” Williams acknowledged, “but maybe just about two.” (HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Louisville Honors Muhammad Ali

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first_imgLOUISVILLE, Ky. — Boxing great Muhammad Ali once again heard a crowd chanting his name Sept. 18 and had a medal draped around his neck in his Kentucky hometown.The three-time world heavyweight champion basked in the attention in Louisville, where he received an award from the University of Louisville.School President James Ramsey presented Ali with the medal as the first-ever Grawemeyer Spirit Award winner for his role in inspiring others.Grawemeyer Awards are presented each year for music composition, education, religion, psychology and improving world order.After a series of tributes recounting his triumphs as a boxer and his humanitarian efforts outside the ring, the 73-year-old Ali appeared on stage at a downtown theater.Ali, who is battling Parkinson’s disease, stayed seated but raised his right hand briefly to acknowledge the crowd, which chanted “Ali! Ali!”“In accepting this award, we are reminded that Muhammad’s life continues to inspire generations of people to discover and cultivate their own path to greatness and to use their talents and successes to empower others in communities all over the world,” said Ali’s wife, Lonnie.Ali heard his name shouted loud again when he was recognized before the second quarter of Louisville’s college football game against No. 11 Clemson.Public appearances by the self-proclaimed “Greatest of All Time” have diminished in recent years. Ali is scheduled to attend this year’s ceremony Saturday for winners of humanitarian awards named after Ali.Singer and activist Harry Belafonte and Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis are among the latest winners of Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards.The ceremony took place near the site where Ali was introduced to boxing as a 12-year-old, when he wanted to whip whoever had stolen his bicycle.Ali became a regular at the gym, launching a career that made him an Olympic gold medalist, heavyweight champ and one of the world’s most recognizable figures.Ali has focused on humanitarian causes, promoting racial and religious tolerance, since retiring from the ring. The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville is dedicated to Ali’s humanitarian efforts and showcases his boxing career.Ali has homes in multiple states, and now spends much of his time in Arizona.The event came a day after anti-Islamic messages were found spray-painted on the outside of the Louisville Islamic Center.During the ceremony, the Rev. Michael Jinkins, President of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, referred to the vandalism committed against “our Muslim neighbors.” He said the vandals’ actions “were not in God’s name.”Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has asked the community to help the center paint over the graffiti on Sept. 18.(BRUCE SCHREINER) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Panthers Ground Islanders, 5-1

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first_imgNEW YORK — Even without some key players, the Florida Panthers got timely scoring and strong goaltending to shut down the surging New York Islanders.Reilly Smith, Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad all scored in the second period to lead the Panthers to a 5-1 victory over the Islanders on Dec. 15.Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau added goals in the third period, and Roberto Luongo finished with 33 saves for Florida, which was without leading-scorer Jaromir Jagr (flu) and injured forwards Nick Bjugstad and Derek MacKenzie.“We were down a few boys tonight but we weathered the storm. That’s what good teams do, find ways to win,” said Luongo, who improved to 11-11-3 on the season. “We had guys step in and do the job.”Florida — outshot by a wide margin — kept steady pressure on the Islanders and beat them for the second time this season, along with a shootout win at home on Nov. 23.Brock Nelson had his 10th goal of the season for New York, which snapped a five game home winning streak and a 10-game stretch overall without a loss in regulation (8-0-2). Jaroslav Halak had 12 saves.“I’m sure he’d like to have a few of those back,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said, referring to his usually solid starting goaltender. “That’s the way it goes sometimes. We just have to rebound.”After the Islanders outshot the Panthers 19-2 in a scoreless first, Smith opened the scoring at 1:51 of the second with a slap shot from the right circle for his ninth goal of the season.“I didn’t think it was as bad for us as the shot totals were in the first,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “We buried our chances after that. It was a real solid team game.”Barkov, who also had two assists, made it 2-0 for the Panthers with his seventh of the season, an unassisted goal, at 7:25 of the second.Nelson pulled the Islanders to 2-1 with 7:23 remaining in the period when his shot dribbled past Luongo.However, Ekblad scored 20 seconds later to restore the two-goal lead. The goal was the defenseman’s seventh.Trocheck extended the lead to 4-1 at 1:23 of the third period with his ninth of the season.Huberdeau was awarded an empty-net short-handed goal with 3:43 left when he was pulled down as he tried to score, his fourth this season.“They had all those opportunities early and couldn’t score. I think that frustrated them,” Smith said.The 36-year-old Luongo leads active goaltenders with 412 wins and 888 games played. He wasn’t especially tested except for glove saves on Kyle Okposo in the first and John Tavares in the second. He kept his cool during the Islanders shots barrage in the first.“It’s my job to make saves and keep is in it,” added Luongo, a first-round draft pick by the Islanders in 1997. “We found our legs in the second and got going. In the last 40 minutes, we were scoring, blocking shots and making plays — all the things that help you win.”Florida recalled Rocco Grimaldi from AHL Portland for the game. The Panthers also dressed rarely used right wing Logan Shaw and center Corban Knight, who made his Panthers debut.Halak had been 4-0-2 in his last six games. He lost for the first time since Nov. 12 at Los Angeles, when the Kings won 2-1.The Islanders did smother three Panther power plays, extending their streak to 24 straight penalty kills.The Panthers have won the last four meetings against the Islanders – including twice in shootouts — but New York is still 6-4-2 in their last 12 games against Florida.Islanders forward Ryan Strome returned after missing Sunday’s win over New Jersey with an upper body injury.New York travels to Colorado and Arizona before hosting Anaheim prior to the Christmas break. The Panthers visit the Devils on Dec. 17 and Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 18 before returning to Florida for a six-game homestand.(ALLAN KREDA) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Greinke Sharp, Diamondbacks Beat Struggling Yankees, 5-3

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first_imgPHOENIX — Zack Greinke piped his fastball to the spots he wanted and had hitters pounding his changeup into the dirt.So what if he got a little tired in the eighth inning. This was the kind of start the Arizona Diamondbacks had hoped for from their new ace and maybe one he can build upon.Greinke struck out seven and pitched effectively into the eighth, helping the Diamondbacks clinch their first regular-season series over the New York Yankees with a 5-3 victory the night of May 17.“He threw the ball well,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said. “He used his changeup, was really working the ball down. We saw in the eighth there, he started to elevate and they got a couple hits on it, but before it was a knockout pitch for him.”Arizona blew out the Yankees 12-2 in the series opener and withstood a late rally to win a regular-season series against the Bronx Bombers for the first time in six tries.Jake Lamb hit a two-run homer off Michael Pineda (1-5) and the Diamondbacks, who beat New York in the 2001 World Series, had 10 hits to win consecutive home games for the first time this season.Greinke (4-3) looked the part of an ace the Diamondbacks were expecting after signing him to a six-year, $175 million contract, giving up a solo homer to Starlin Castro in the second inning but not much else before tiring late.Brad Ziegler worked around a walk in the ninth for his eighth save and 36th straight overall.“It was good everything,” Greinke said. The Yankees had little go right.Pineda continued his season-long struggles, extending his winless streak to seven straight starts.Chase Headley had an error on a perfectly thrown ball on a steal attempt at second — he was shifted over — and catcher Brian McCann compounded a passed ball to allow Chris Owings to race all the way from first to third.“You can’t play like that and win,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said.Greinke has gone through an up-and-down start during his first season in the desert, entering the game with a 5.26 ERA after leading the majors at 1.66 last season.He struggled the last time out, allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings in a loss to San Francisco.The 2009 NL Cy Young Award winner was sharp against the Yankees, mixing a low-90s fastball with a curveball that dropped all the way to 67 mph.Greinke had the Yankees swinging and missing or hitting the ball into the ground, racking up 11 groundball outs.His one big mistake: A fastball that Castro launched for a towering solo homer to center in the second inning.Greinke was lifted after allowing two singles to open the seventh and the Yankees followed with a pair of run-scoring singles off Daniel Hudson.“Got a lot of groundballs, so it (changeup was definitely a valuable pitch,” said Greinke, allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings. “Good fastball location and the slider was pretty good as well.”Pineda had allowed 28 runs in seven starts, with all but eight of those coming in the first two innings.Working on an extra day’s rest, Pineda limited the damage in the first two frames to a run-scoring single by Nick Ahmed in the second.The problems came later.Arizona scored two off him in the third on run-scoring singles by Paul Goldschmidt and Wellington Castillo, then Lamb launched a two-run homer into the pool deck in right-center to put the Diamondbacks up 5-1 in the fifth.“I know I am better than that,” said Pineda, who allowed five runs on nine hits and struck out nine in five innings. “I am struggling again. I need to keep working hard and be better.”(JOHN MARSHALL, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Panathinaikos downs Baskonia on the road (video)

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first_imgIn a battle of playoff-bound teams hoping to snatch home-court advantage, Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens went on the road to lead from tip to buzzer in beating Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 63-72 on Thursday night. The victory improved Panathinaikos’s record to 17-11, which is the same as fourth-place Fenerbahce Istanbul, but Fenerbahce has the tiebreak advantage. The victory also gave Panathinaikos a season-sweep of Baskonia, which dropped to 16-12 and seventh place. Panathinaikos had a dream start, not allowing Baskonia to get into any offensive rhythm. The Greens needed no time to open a double-digit margin and their lead was as big as 22 points in the third quarter, before Baskonia attempted a late charge, but never really threatened. Chris Singleton was all over the place for the winner with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. James Gist and Mike James scored 11 points apiece for Panathinaikos, while Nick Calathes collected 8 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Adam Hanga finished the game with 13 points, Johannes Voigtmann collected 12 points plus 7 rebounds, while Chase Budinger scored 11 in the losing effort.Panathinaikos stormed out of the gate, with Gist scoring 7 points, and behind Singleton and Calathes who fueled a 0-11 run, the Greens opened a 4-18 lead. Baskonia could not get into rhythm against Panathinaikos’s box-and-1 zone defense, and Singleton and Kenny Gabriel hit triples to give the visitors a 6-24 lead after 10 minutes. Shane Larkin hit a three-pointer, and Hanga got something going for the hosts, but Nikos Pappas, James and Calathes kept the hosts at bay, as the score stood 21-37 at halftime. After the break there was more offensive struggle for Baskonia, as James Feldeine and Singleton made it 25-47. Baskonia was not giving up, however, and slowly started to melt the deficit. Savvy plays from Ilimane Diop cut the margin into single digits in the fourth quarter, and it was 48-56 going into the final five minutes of the game. Budinger hit a three-pointer and Hanga made a steal under the visitors’ basket and scored as Baskonia got within 61-67. But a put-back by Gist with 57 seconds left sealed the outcome. Source: EuroleagueTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Serbia Beats Greece; Croatia, Montenegro, Hungary into Quarters

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first_imgGreece’s third-quarter blues was where Serbia turned the match and went on to victory. Serbia had to work for the win with a gutsy Greece playing up to the “Champions of Everything” and continued the fusillade with a dominant final quarter. Captain Filip Filipovic broke the first-quarter deadlock with a rifle shot, FINA reports.Then Greece, through a Konstantinos Mourikis cross-cage goal and a Evangelos Delakas rocket from the top took the 3-2 lead. Dusan Mandic, with a cracker doughnut shot from the deep right, and Filipovic regained the lead for Serbia. Delakas nailed a second with a deflection on extra and the match was level again. Andrija Prlainovic gave Serbia the lead by the buzzer.The Serbian third-quarter charge reaped three goals with Greece frustrated with plenty of attacks, only to be blocked or have shots saved. Captain Ioannis Fountoulis lifted his team with a penalty goal to start the final quarter but Vikto Randelovic on extra and Filipovic from eight metres, moved Serbia to an unbeatable 10-5 margin with six minutes remaining.Fountoulis zipped in another penalty goal at 3:00, however, Milan Aleksic had the final say with an incredible bounce shot from the left-post position on extra. SERBIA: Gojko Pijetlovic, Dusan Mandic (2), Viktor Rasovic, Sava Randelovic (1), Milos Cuk, Dusko Pijetlovic (1), Nemanja Ubovic, Milan Aleksic (1), Nikola Jaksic (1), Filip Filipovic (3), Andrija Prlainovic (1), Stefan Mitrovic (1), Branislav Mitrovic. Head Coach: Dejan Savic.GREECE: Konstantinos Flegkas, Konstantinos Genidounias (1), Evangelos Delakas (2), Georgios Dervisis, Ioannis Fountoulis (2), Marios Kapotsis, Kyriakos Pontikeas, Kanakakis Argyropoulos, Konstantinos Mourikis (1), Christodoulos Kolomvos, Alexandros Gounas, Angelos Vlachopoulos, Emmanouil Zerdevas. Head Coach: Theodoros Vlachos.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Porto Extends Contract with Casillas for Another Season

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first_imgPORTO, Portugal (AP) — Porto says veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas will stay with the club for at least another season.The Portuguese club says Casillas’ contract has been extended until the end of the 2019-20 season, with an option for another one-year extension.The 37-year-old Spanish goalkeeper has been with Porto since signing from Real Madrid in 2015.Casillas says he hopes to “finish his career” with Porto, which is the club that “feels like home.”The Spaniard won five league titles and three Champions League trophies with Real Madrid, and one World Cup and two European Championships with Spain’s national team.Casillas helped Porto win the Portuguese league last season.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Degefa Runs Away With Women’s Boston Marathon

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first_imgBOSTON — The wind slowed down and the rain stopped.Worknesh Degefa never did.The 28-year-old Ethiopian broke away from defending champion Des Linden and the rest of the women’s pack in the Framingham flats and ran alone to her first major victory on Monday, winning the Boston Marathon by 44 seconds.Degefa finished in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 31 seconds to become the eighth Ethiopian woman to win the race and the third in seven years. Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat was second, American Jordan Hasay was third and Linden was fifth.One year after an icy rain and a near-gale headwind resulted in the slowest winning times in four decades, race organizers again prepared for the foul New England weather. But overnight thunderstorms moved on before the runners left Hopkinton; the sun even made an appearance about halfway through.Linden took advantage of last year’s storm to splash her way to the first win for an American woman since 1985.But with conditions back to normal, so were the results: East Africans from Kenya and Ethiopia dominating the podiums.A field of 30,000 runners followed the elites, ditching their trash bags and ponchos on the Hopkinton Green before embarking on the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Copley Square. It’s the first time the race has been run on April 15 since the 2013 attacks; officials planned a ceremony at 2:49 p.m. to honor those killed or maimed by the two pressure cooker bombs that exploded near the finish line.Daniel Romanchuk, 20, became the youngest-ever men’s wheelchair champion in Boston. He finished in 1:21:36 for the fastest time ever for an American.Manuela Schar won the women’s race for the second time, adding it to her titles in in Berlin, Chicago, New York and Tokyo. If she wins in London in two weeks, she will have swept the World Marathon Major series.By: Jimmy Golen, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more